Guinnes Premiership
Strong Sale Sharks outfit to host Bristol
February 19, 2009
Sale lock Sebastien Chabal rises for the ball in a lineout during a full-blooded contest against Bath at the Recreation Ground, December 20 2008
Sebastien Chabal returns for Sale against Bristol © Getty Images

Edgeley Park sees the return of four of Sale's big international stars against Bristol on Friday night. Matthew Tait, Dwayne Peel, Lionel Faure and Sebastien Chabal return to the starting line-up for the home side and a bonus-point win could see them go joint top of the league.

"This is a big game for both clubs," said Sale Director of Rugby Kingsley Jones.

"We need to get back on track after last week's defeat at Gloucester and Bristol are scrapping for their Premiership lives. The defeat against Newcastle last week will have hurt them but we expect them to come and give us a tough game.

"There will be no complacency from my players, we will respect them and we must put in an 80 minute disciplined performance."

Luke McAlister remains on the sidelines but should make a swift return, "Luke has had minor surgery on his knee earlier today but we expect him back soon," said Jones.

Bristol, who remain rooted to the foot of the Premiership have called up 21-year old second-row forward Dave Attwood for his Premiership debut. He's one of five changes that Head Coach Richard Hill has made for the game.

Luke Eves, Adrian Jarvis, Scott Linklater and Joe El Abd are named in the Bristol line-up who will be looking for an improved performance after their crushing home defeat to the Newcastle Falcons last Friday.

Attwood, a former England U19 and U20 representative, has made two starts for Bristol in the European Challenge Cup this season.

Bristol are in dire need of points but that hasn't deterred them from giving Attwood a start who Assistant Coach Paul Hunt says deserves his chance, "Dave has been there or thereabouts for the last couple of years now. I am really pleased for him to get a start in the Premiership through selection rather than injury," said Attwood

"Now he needs to make his mark at senior level. He has always had potential - hopefully he can fulfil that."

Sale: Nick Macleod; Chris Bell, Mathew Tait, Rudi Keil, Oriol Ripol; Charlie Hodgson, Dwayne Peel; Lionel Faure, Sebastien Bruno, Eifion Roberts, Sebastien Chabal, Dean Schofield, Chris Jones, Luke Abraham, JM Fernandez Lobbe.

Replacements: Marc Jones, Stuart Turner, Sean Cox, Neil Briggs, Chris Leck, Lee Thomas, Selorm Kuadey.

Bristol: Tom Arscott; Lee Robinson, Neil Brew, Luke Eves, David Lemi; Adrian Jarvis, Shaun Perry; Mark Irish, Scott Linklater, Darren Crompton, Dave Attwood, Nathan Budgett, Alfie To'oala, Joe El Abd, Dan Ward-Smith.

Replacements: David Blaney, Wayne Thompson, Roy Winters, Redford Pennycook, Graeme Beveridge, Ed Barnes, Nathan Brew.


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